Osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent aging-related joint disease lacking disease-modifying therapies. Here, we identified an upregulation of circulating exosomal osteoclast (OC)-derived microRNAs (OC-miRNAs) during the progression of surgery-induced OA in mice. We found that reducing OC-miRNAs by Cre-mediated excision of the key miRNA-processing enzyme Dicer or blocking the secretion of OC-originated exosomes by short interfering RNA-mediated silencing of Rab27a substantially delayed the progression of surgery-induced OA in mice. Mechanistically, the exosomal transfer of OC-miRNAs to chondrocytes reduced the resistance of cartilage to matrix degeneration, osteochondral angiogenesis and sensory innervation during OA progression by suppressing tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) and TIMP-3. Furthermore, systemic administration of a new OC-targeted exosome inhibitor (OCExoInhib) blunted the progression of surgery-induced OA in mice. We suggest that targeting the exosomal transfer of OC-miRNAs to chondrocytes represents a potential therapeutic avenue to tackle OA progression.
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)